Chapter 4

It was a week of being on Atlantis before Ziva began to find something of her place there. While she and John saw each other on and off during the time, they made sure to keep things respectively professional when not alone. Evidently, they put on a good enough show that many of the most curious of the Marines and scientists appeared disappointed when they didn’t see much of a difference in Sheppard’s behaviour right away.

John showed her one of the more popular running routes that wouldn’t get her too lost and for that she was happy. It’d been awhile since she could actually really let her body get something of a work out. Every morning she woke up early to head out. Once John went with her but vowed to not try that again with great apologies and said she’d do better with Ronon – who also still hadn’t said much to her other than the occasional grunt before leaving the table.

By the fourth day of that, Ziva was confused, annoyed, and hurt. Looking at the rest of those that still were at the table, she asked, “What did I do to him?”

“Come on,” John said and got up. “We’re going to ask and if not, maybe you’d like a sparring session with the guy to beat it out of him.”

Shrugging, Ziva grabbed her water bottle and said her goodbyes to Teyla and McKay. She followed after John feeling a little timid and glad that he seemed to know exactly where the behemoth of human was hiding out in the sparring gym.

“Ronon,” John stood to the side of the gym, the Satedan was doing some warm up moves to probably spar with a few marines that were looking scared on the side. “What’s your problem?”

He had been punching the bag and shrugged. “I don’t have a problem.” Punch, punch, punch.

“Sure you do,” he nodded. “You haven’t said one entire sentence to Ziva from the day you first met her on Earth.”

Ziva watched from the doorway at the man’s moves, studying him. She paid no mind to the conversation as she was more intent on her potential opponent in John’s friend.

“I have nothing to say,” Ronon answered glancing at his friend’s girl. “I just don’t want to be babysitting anyone else off world. McKay is one thing as he covered our asses enough but another girl?”

“You won’t have to babysit her, she’s perfectly capable of taking care of her own,” John said. “Ziva is a warrior, just like you. I’m sure that if you want her to prove herself, she wouldn’t mind a sparring match with you,” he winked at Ziva.

He raised a skeptical eye towards the short, small framed woman. “Teyla actually looks like a threat, but her?”

“You should have seen her kicking ass against the Wraith on Earth,” he smirked. “She was amazing.”

Ronon let out a sigh. “I’m not going to be held responsible if she gets hurt?” he asked as he stepped back to let Ziva have room on the mat.

“No, I will not let him,” she smiled sweetly as she began to circle the sparring area, waiting for the opportune moment to strike.

Ronon was looking unimpressed and bored on the mat, his eyes on his friend’s mate and knew that she was about to make a fool out of herself, and he felt sorry for her. Maybe it was a good idea to go easy on her. He struck out with his right hand towards her torso, which she blocked by kicking his arm away in one fluent movement, grinning like a Cheshire cat.

As he continued to strike against her, he found himself surprised and impressed after a number of unsuccessful moves. He bounced around on the mat before they started another round of attempting to strike each other before she got a very well placed blow to his ribs about the same moment he managed to get her legs out from under her.

Limping off to the side so that Ziva had a chance to get up, Ronon nursed the area she got him and turned to Sheppard with a look of surprise.

John helped Ziva up from the mat and nodded. “I think you two will get along quite nicely from now on, right Ronon?”

“I guess,” he replied with a shrug. “You should put her against Teyla…”

“Teyla doesn’t have a problem with Ziva, you do.” John said.

“Nah, I just think that it would be hot to see two chicks fight,” he grinned with a nod at Ziva.

She grinned mischievously back. “And who knows where else that may lead to…” she said as she turned to look up at Sheppard.

“Whatever floats your boat, Ziva.” John said, rolling his eyes at the both of them.

Ronon laughed. “You got yourself a good one there!” His amusement roared and filled the room and out into the corridor. The marines waiting for training attempted to hide their snickers but looking everywhere else but their boss.

“I’m not that hopeless,” John remarked, making a face.

“No but you are quite good in bed,” Ziva said walking out with a strut as she returned to the mess hall.

The marines looked shocked, and amused at the same time. “Please continue with what you were doing,” he said, “I’m going to have my coffee now.”

As Ronon and his group set about their usual training, John had a bit of distance to catch up to Ziva who surprisingly was pretty much halfway back to the mess. She smiled at him and hummed to herself proudly as she continued to walk, trying to ignore the look he gave her.

“You’re a minx,” he said after he finally caught up with her as she had to stand in line too as someone had been so kind to clear their table they previously were sitting at.

“What?” she blinked innocently. “You wanted me to fight him, he and I evidently now have an understanding. Whenever Carter sends us off world, you don’t have to worry about us squabbling. I say it’s ended pretty well, don’t you think?”

“That’s not what I meant and you know it,” he said, grabbing a turkey sandwich.

She just grabbed herself a salad as she didn’t want to eat much. Ziva had an appointment with Beckett in just over an hour so she wouldn’t be able to hang out for too long with John this time. “Any plans for the weekend?” she asked once they made their way to a quiet table.

John shrugged. “I thought that maybe I could show you around some more.”

“I’d enjoy that but don’t you have work you need to do after being away for so long?” she asked as she ate. “Not that I’m not grateful, but I also don’t want to take you away from your duties as much as I would love for us to spend more time to get to know each other.”

“Yeah, well, tomorrow you’ll be going on your first off world trip with us, it shouldn’t really last until the weekend, and until next week, it’s just that.” he said. “Unless there’s some kind of emergency.”

“Are emergencies common?”

“They occasionally happen,” he nodded. “Since our team hasn’t been really rostered for one month because I was on Earth and then the Wraith thing happened and our trip on the Daedalus. New rosters will be made over the weekend, which I’m actually preparing the first draft for when I’m not with you.”

She nodded and returned to eating. She looked thoughtful as she watched him, just smiling sweetly whenever he looked back at her.

“Oh don’t you worry, I’ve got something planned for you.” he grinned.

Ziva narrowed her gaze. “Somehow, I think that I should be worried considering the stories that Dr. McKay has shared with me about you…”

“What did he say?”

Her eyes were bright as her smile as she drank her water. “Nothing you should be concerned about,” she replied. “Let’s just say that I have a new appreciation for your – talents…”

“You do know that you can’t believe anything he tells you about personal things, right? You always need to double check his facts.” He took a sip of his coffee.

Ziva took a bite out of her breadstick. “I did. With Teyla.”

“I’m screwed,” John groaned.

Checking the time, she began to clean up her tray. She dropped a kiss to his cheek before saying her goodbyes. “I have to see Dr. Beckett now. I will find you later, yes?”

“Yeah.” he said nodding and took a bite out of his sandwich. “Don’t be afraid to tell him that you don’t like physicals, he’ll treat you with the utmost care.”

“Duly noted,” Ziva said and made her way off to the infirmary with a grimace. Why couldn’t it be Ducky? she wondered when she arrived a few minutes later.

“Good afternoon, lass!” Carson Beckett greeted Ziva warmly. “I suppose you’re here for your physical?” he smiled.

Her nervousness was evident as her eyes darted around the room for the easiest escape. “If it is required, then yes,” she answered as she glanced back towards the door.

“Oh not to worry, I won’t do anything you don’t want me to do,” Carson said bubbly. “How about I start easy and just take a blood sample from you?”

Ziva looked at him carefully, assessing his intentions before nodding slowly. She followed him further into the treatment area, farther away from the exit than she would have liked but John insisted that she would be alright. Most of the time, she was able to handle herself, but that was when she was in the company of familiar faces or surroundings. Everyone, everything here was just so…alien.

“Now, John said you’re quite the extraordinary person,” Carson said as he grabbed a tray with the syringes and vials. “Hope you don’t mind, we’ve been teasing him a wee bit because he’s so hopeless at times when it comes to women, being totally oblivious to his natural charm.”

She raised an eyebrow. “I don’t understand. When he and I met, he seemed perfectly capable all on his own without anyone’s assistance.”

“And he probably flirted with you, but if you’d ask him, he’d say that he was just striking up a conversation with you,” Carson grinned. “The poor guy usually doesn’t know his right hand from his left hand in social environments, it’s very endearing.”

She didn’t answer and only shrugged. John seemed normal to her and she believed that both their intentions when they spoke had been that of a professional or even general friendship that seemed to become more after they began to email each other frequently. When Ziva realized that she was actually looking forward to hearing from him, she knew that she had a larger interest in the man that she was careful not to lose.

“You’ll see the effect he has on women soon enough,” Carson said and cleaned the area on her arm where he was going to drain blood. “And on how he remains oblivious to said effect.” he nodded and readied the syringe. “A little pinch, lass.”

Pursing her lips, she did not know what to make of this information. It wasn’t like she hadn’t heard the same thing from other people she spoke to around town that was eager to share stories of their fearless military leader, but the fact was that as much asshetrusted him, Ziva still struggled some with the same trust issues and could sometimes get jealous. That would be dangerous for anyone, man or woman, if they were to encroach onto her territory.

“But not to worry, we can all see that Colonel Sheppard is infatuated with you,” Carson filled a vile or two with her blood. “We just like to rile him up a bit because it’s about time he met someone he truly likes.” He put the vials in their holder. “Now, he also told me that you’re not too keen of physicals, are ya lass?”

“Yes. Since returning from a – mission, I’ve only been comfortable with one doctor examining me,” she explained. “It did not matter that he was also the medical examiner for NCIS. I trust Ducky with my life.”

“Ducky? Now that’s an odd name for a person,” Carson smiled. “Well, not to worry, I won’t even have to touch you for your physical.”

Ziva smiled softly. “It is what he likes to be called by those he considers family. What do I need to do now?”

“Just lay down and be still, that’s all you have to do, lass,” Carson said. “I’m sure it’s hard to leave the ones you love behind for a while, but you’ll find that here on Atlantis, you’re part of a family too.”

She didn’t answer and laid there as the machine hovered above her head. Blinking, she wasn’t sure what this thing would show but she hoped that she could continue keeping her experiences to herself and not have anyone add the event as part of her records. Ziva barely was able to survive the psychological exam but it was understood that nothing would be said. Vance suspected, but Gibbs knew. It needed to end there.

“Well, I can see that you have a healthy heart, lass.” Carson’s voice sounded. Carson was looking at a big screen that showed an image of her body without her skin. “And I see you’ve had many broken bones, but they all healed up nicely,” he added. “Considering your background I don’t find that unusual.” He looked some more and nodded. “Well, that’s all, you can get off the table now, you’re as healthy as a horse.” he fumbled a lolly pop out of his pocket and handed it over with a smile. “That wasn’t so bad, was it?”

“Are we done?” she asked curiously. “John said that you would be able to tell me if I have the ATM gene?” She chuckled at the candy but accepted it, sticking it in the pocket of her cargo pants.

“The ATA gene.”

“Whatever.”

“I will, once I run tests on your blood, I can’t tell that with just one full body scan.” Carson chuckled. “Although Colonel Sheppard did say that you’ve managed to open one of your doors in your quarters without having him to activate it first, so there’s a great possibility that you have the gene.”

She nodded. “So I will be able to join his team off world this weekend, yes?”

“Of course,” Carson nodded.

“Thank you Doctor,” Ziva said as she got off the bed of the machine. “When should I expect an answer about my blood tests?”

“Oh… later today, I suppose.” Carson smiled. “But don’t you worry about anything, you’re healthy.”

Unsure of what else she might need or if he would find another reason to keep her around, she nodded and made her escape while she could to return to her quarters. Maybe it would be wise to do some reading while she had a little bit of down time before she becomes fully active with the Atlantis way of things.

“No Rodney.” John glared at his friend. “Carter will kill you if you blow up the lab.”

“But I have no intention to blow up the lab, I’m just saying that it might be possible that SHOULD I activate this that the whole lab could be blown up!”

“Exactly,” John pointed out. “It stays off until you find a safer environment to play with it.”

“But…!”

“If you don’t like it, ask Carter, she’ll say the same.”

Rodney just glared at him as John walked out of the lab to his quarters to catch up on some paperwork, and fiddle a little with the rosters again. But before he could enter his quarters, Atlantis started to shake at the same time an explosion could have been heard.

“Rodney!”

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